Understanding Medical Malpractice and Seeking Justice
Doctors and other medical professionals hold a position in which they are trusted by millions of people.
Any time someone sustains an injury, develops a medical condition, or runs into any health issue, we go to the hospital to seek the medical attention we need. While there, we encounter numerous medical professionals; all of whom have a duty to care for the patient.
It’s a relationship that has been around for a long time—the doctor and patient often rely on each other.
However, there are times when issues arise, making it dangerous for the patient. These mistakes can lead to further injury or the condition worsening and it’s important for individuals to understand what this is, how it happens, and ways you can seek justice as a victim.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
In legal terms, medical malpractice essentially means that there was a breach in the duty of care by doctor to patient. There are a number of ways this occurs, but they all stem from similar problems that exist in hospitals.
Medical malpractice has become a more common problem than it should, leaving individuals suffering as a result.
Victims of medical malpractice are afforded the right to seek legal action against the responsible parties under Philadelphia statute. However, there are various things that need to be established prior to starting the lawsuit.
- The medical professional had a duty of care to the patient
- The duty of care was breached by an act of negligence
- The breach led to a mistake by the medical professional
- The mistake caused serious harm to the patient
When all of these aspects exist, it can lead to serious harm for a patient.
What Can Be Considered Medical Malpractice?
There are a number of actions that can be considered medical malpractice, all making for potential dangers to patients. Here are some of the actions that may be considered medical malpractice.
Wrong Tests Ordered
When someone goes into a hospital with an ailment, the first step once they see a doctor is often to have tests performed. Whether this includes blood work for various conditions or x-rays for injuries, these tests tell the doctors a lot about what could be wrong.
If the doctor misunderstands the condition or is not properly trained, they may order the wrong tests. In some cases, inexperienced technicians may also perform the wrong test if communication isn’t present or if they misread the records.
Missed diagnosis is a serious problem when doctors are either inexperienced or when they don’t pay close attention to their patients. The patient may have symptoms that the doctor dismisses, making it so the problem goes untreated. This could result in even further harm to the patient.
Misdiagnosis occurs when the doctor does diagnose a problem, but does so incorrectly. For instance, if the doctor recognizes symptoms of a cold, but a more serious condition displays the same symptoms, misdiagnosis occurs if the doctor dismisses one condition without testing for it.
They may diagnose the cold without considering any of the other conditions with the same symptoms. When this happens, treatment is only provided for one of the conditions. This can lead to the condition worsening and causing long-term damage.
Surgical errors are some of the more severe incidents of medical malpractice because it involves a time in which a patient is already vulnerable. This can include operating on the wrong body part or wrong patient, leaving an item in a patient, and more.
Who Is Responsible In Medical Malpractice Cases?
When it comes to legal issues involving medical malpractice, things can get complex because there are a number of people who may be considered responsible. There are factors that come into play when there are multiple issues involved in the medical facility.
The parties who may be considered liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit include the hospital, either because it has dangerous policies in an effort to save money, or its healthcare providers because it employs them. Sometimes the hospital is not involved and the healthcare providers, whether nurses, doctors, or technicians, are the ones who cause the injuries.
It’s unfortunate to know that the moment you walk into a hospital, there are individuals who hold the fate of your health. However, understanding medical malpractice and what can happen is important in protecting yourself and your rights.
Questions to Ask
There are a number of things patients should know when visiting a hospital, and questions that they want to be sure they are asking in order to ensure the best care possible.
If you feel as though there is something wrong with the diagnosis or tests ordered, be sure to ask your doctor if they are sure about the decision. It’s your health, never be afraid to second guess if you feel something is off.
Ask your doctor to order more tests or to look at results again. You can also ask what other conditions have the same symptoms you’re experiencing if you feel something is worse than diagnosed. Your questions can help the doctor decide to perform more tests and look for more issues than initially thought.
What Seeking Legal Action Means for Victims
For many, the idea of legal action doesn’t typically cross their mind when dealing with a serious situation such as medical malpractice. They’re worried about their own health and concerned that they fail to seek representation.
However, it’s important to know how important this is and what it can mean for you as a victim.
First, you should know that medical malpractice cases are typically handled on a contingency fee basis. This means that clients don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Instead, they only pay if and when a case is successful and the fee comes out as a percentage of the recovery.
This should subside any fears that a medical malpractice victim may have regarding how to pay for a lawyer.
Second, you should know that the compensation you seek can be used to help cover medical expenses arising from the issues you’ve encountered, lost wages if you were unable to work because of the injuries, and more.
Furthermore, taking legal action does more than just help a victim seek compensation.
There is much more to it than just compensation. It’s also about seeking justice from the negligent party and bringing the reckless actions to public view. Far too often, medical professionals and hospitals sweep serious malpractice issues under the rug because victims don’t take action.
By taking legal actions, you’re forcing the reckless party to accept liability for their actions. Even better, you’re forcing them to change their standards and improve their safety processes. This works to help prevent these issues from happening to others in the future.
You can make a difference. You can protect others from harm. And you can right the wrongs you have experienced as a result of negligence.
At The Beasley Firm, we recognize how serious medical malpractice issues are and why medical professionals should be held accountable for their actions. We don’t take these types of cases lightly and we work hard to guide victims through the process.
Our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys stand by your side every step of the way so you can feel confident in your recovery. If you’ve been harmed, you deserve the right to take legal action. You deserve justice.
Call us today at (215) 866-2424 if you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice and we can discuss your potential case.